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Farming communities facing crisis over nitrate pollution

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posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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Farming communities facing crisis over nitrate pollution


openchannel.msnbc. msn.com

...Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley might be drinking nitrate-contaminated water, researchers found. And if nothing is done to stem the problem, the report warns, nearly 80 percent of residents could be at risk of health and financial problems by 2050.

High nitrate levels in drinking water are known to cause thyroid cancer, skin rashes, hair loss, birth defects and “blue baby syndrome,” a potentially fatal blood disorder in infants.
(visit the link for the full news article)


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edit on 13/3/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

edit on 13/3/12 by soficrow because: to add and fix ATS link




posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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There's no doubt that high-level nitrates in drinking water "cause thyroid cancer, skin rashes, hair loss, birth defects and “blue baby syndrome,” a potentially fatal blood disorder in infants." At least.

96% of nitrate contamination comes from agriculture, researchers report.

Besides health impacts and health care costs, the expenses related to nitrate-tainted water include water treatment and procuring alternative supplies - none of it cheap.



The agricultural industry, however, has maintained that it is not solely responsible because nitrates come from many sources. But, according to the UC Davis report, 96 percent of nitrate contamination comes from agriculture and only 4 percent can be traced to water treatment plants, septic systems, food processing, landscaping and other sources. While the report focused on California, nitrates in groundwater is a problem that plagues farming communities around the U.S.

A financial hit as well

In addition to health risks, tainted water will exact a growing financial toll, the report said. The researchers project that utilities and citizens in the two regions will pay $20 million to $36 million per year for water treatment and alternative supplies for the next 20 years or more.

According to the study, more than 1.3 million people in the two areas currently face increased costs as residents seek alternative sources of water and providers pass on the costs of treatment to ratepayers.


This report is from California, but all the nation's farming communities face the same problem - and nitrates take decades to clear from the soil.



While the report focused on California, nitrates in groundwater is a problem that plagues farming communities around the U.S.

...Current contamination likely came from nitrates introduced into the soil decades ago. That means even if nitrates were dramatically reduced today, groundwater would still remain polluted for decades to come.


Fertilizer is responsible for contaminating the soil and water with nitrates - and much of that is used to grow feed for cattle. A new study shows (again) that daily consumption of red meat does indeed cause cancer and heart disease.


Daily serving of red meat raises risk of cancer, heart disease

...a new study from the highly respected researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health offers some of the best and most detailed evidence yet that a daily serving of meat can increase risk of heart disease or cancer.

...Dr. Dean Ornish, the preventive medicine guru of the San Francisco Bay area, points out that red meat is harmful not just to our bodies, but also to the planet. It takes enormous amounts of plants, requiring energy-intensive fertilizers, to fatten cattle and pigs. Ornish cites a study finding that the amount of energy required to produce a Quarter Pounder with Cheese equals burning 7 pounds of coal.


Seems we're poisoning ourselves at every turn. ...Is the human species suicidal, or is there another explanation?










openchannel.msnbc. msn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 09:59 AM
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Extremely important subject. Can't stress that enough.
Busy now, will check back later.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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People talk of oil, gold,and many other resources that we fight wars over.

I think the biggest thing we take for granted ( especially here in the U.S. ) is our water supply. If we dont start being better stewarts of this resource there will come a day when turning on the tap and having clean, drinkable water will be gone. Many people already use bottled water for most everything, ( even thought alot of those are just tap water from other areas ) Can you imagine having to use bottled water to drink, cook, even for a bath.

People will come out of a store complaining about 4.00$ a gallon gas, but never think a thing about the 5.00$ they just spent on two bottles of water = half a gallon. Face it, were already being primed for it.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by David134
People talk of oil, gold,and many other resources that we fight wars over.

I think the biggest thing we take for granted ( especially here in the U.S. ) is our water supply. If we dont start being better stewarts of this resource there will come a day when turning on the tap and having clean, drinkable water will be gone. Many people already use bottled water for most everything, ( even thought alot of those are just tap water from other areas ) Can you imagine having to use bottled water to drink, cook, even for a bath.

People will come out of a store complaining about 4.00$ a gallon gas, but never think a thing about the 5.00$ they just spent on two bottles of water = half a gallon. Face it, were already being primed for it.


The nitrate problem is not new -- it's been going on for decades, but it's getting worse and worse.

Our seas are so polluted. And natural fresh water sources are limited. China buys fresh water from the US, which means they don't have enough water for their own people. I believe the Antarctica expedition to reach the buried lake was all about finding a new natural source of uncontaminated water.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by AuranVector
 


If China is buying water from North America, it's because North America exported most of its chemical processing to China.


Pollution of waterways by toxic run-offs from factories and farms is a pressing issue in China, prompting the authorities to call for policy tightening to cut heavy metal pollution, though the problem shows no sign of going away.

Cadmium levels at the Longjiang River in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday were three times the official limit, Xinhua news agency said, pointing the finger of blame at a mining company.

Excessive levels of cadmium were detected last Sunday, the news agency said, adding that the authorities had injected 80 tonnes of aluminum chloride, a neutralizing agent, into the river in a bid to eliminate the health risk.


Link

Why operate in China? It's one of the few places in the world where you can dumb toxic chemicals into waterways and get away with it.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 12:41 PM
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In what could be seen from certain perspectives, a supreme irony, the near future holds a interesting twist for global economies.

"Third world", barely industrialized, non-nuclear nations will be the sole source for most of the potable fresh water; whereas wealthy, "modern" nations will become subject to the availability of water via the stereotypical "middle-man" commerce sources.

And stewardship of the natural resource - while logical - seems far from the intention of the body of governments who are supposed to be looking out for the welfare of their citizens .... almost as if they want it that way....

I am reminded of a series of events in or around 2005... (correct me if I am mistaken)

Then-President George Bush' daughter... envoy of UNESCO in South America, took a detour from her 'official' visit to the continent, to purchase 100,000 acres of land in Paraguay on behalf of the Bush family estate. (The land is adjacent to the next largest foreign land holder in the country, the Church of Reverend Sung Yun Moon.)

This plot of land sits atop the largest remaining unmolested fresh water aquifer on the planet.....

Of course at the time it was curious that we had sent some 4 or 500 US Marines to Paraguay in exchange for aid... as long as their Senate granted them all complete legal and diplomatic immunity for any actions they mighty engage in (which they did). meanwhile Bush' administrations was pressuring the UN to provide immunity to the President from prosecutions for war crimes...

Oh what a tangled web....

Are we learning yet?



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


I always said that we humans will be end of our own species, it will not be a nature "global warming" or "natural disasters' is going to be by our own hands, the greed and corruption in our nations is killing us one generation at a time.

To make things worst, the big food producers and our government is cashing out on what is going on around the nation, You think that farmers are having it bad with water and soil pollution? well as people turn away from big manufactures and growers to be able to support themselves we got now codex alimentarrius will make illegal to just be able to grow food for personal use in this nation

The pieces are falling in place now people will see what the hoopla about the codex alimentarius is all about. Get your seat belts on because the ride is just starting.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 04:19 PM
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Usualy food is considered safe unless proven otherwise.

Under Codex alimentarrius ALL food is considered dangerous untill proven otherwise.

TOTAL CONTROL OF THE WORLDS FOOD SUPPLY.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley might be drinking nitrate-contaminated water, researchers found.


More fear-mongering from the church of environmentalism.
edit on 13-3-2012 by DavidWillts because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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How does this compare to organic farming? (Thinking: positive solutions at a personal level.)



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 07:15 PM
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Unlike many of the posters here, I actually lived in the Salinas Valley (King City) for a few years, and in the Paso Robles area for about 8 more.

The problem is, these aren't local little family farms. That area is the very heart of Big Agra. The Salinas Valley is called the "Salad Bowl" of the world, since the vast majority of salad vegetables (from lettuce to broccoli to celery and many veggies and spices in between) are grown there. Also the vast majority of strawberries sold in the US. Check the lettuce in your fridge....I'll bet it is grown in central California (Salinas, Castro Valley.) The people who are most affected by this nasty tainted water are Mexicans and Mexican Americans (illegal as well as legal). The actual people who own the corporations don't live anywhere near there....they live in gorgeous homes overlooking the Monterey Bay or in Carmel, hob-nobbing with mayor Clint Eastwood.

Water problems and nitrate pollution have been California's sorry little secret for over 20 years now. They pump the groundwater in the Salinas Valley and use huge sprinklers to water the crops, in an area that has 30 mph straight-line winds coming in from Monterey Bay every single afternoon during the growing season like clockwork. Much of the water evaporates, necessitating more pumping than what should be allowed.

They know that the salt water from the bay is encroaching in their aquifer in the valley, yet they do nothing. They know all about the nitrates polluting the groundwater, and the pesticides they spray on the strawberries (methyl iodide) is dangerous for the farmworkers to come in contact with, but THEY DON'T CARE. They have their puppets in the state capitol of Sacramento who come to their rescue and shoot down any health protection for the farmworkers and the local population.

In the San Joaquin Valley, further to the south (Bakersfield area), the valley land which butts up against the Tehachapi mountain range (which separates southern from central Cali) has been a barren waste land for over 25 years. It looks like there is a fine dusting of snow on the ground, but that is just the nitrate crystals sitting on the ground. They knew there was hard-pan clay not too far under the surface, so that nitrate water had nowhere to go, but they didn't care. Now it is useless land for agriculture, and looks like a freaky, salty desert.

People in California, and scientists, have been sounding the alarm for decades, and nobody cares.

Want to know what will happen? Business will continue as normal, Big Agra will pay nothing extra, and people who want clean water will have to pay through the nose for it. Eventually, the entire central and Salinas valleys will become just as the southern San Joaquin valley have become: A nasty, polluted desert in which only a few ugly, hardy weeds will grow. Then they will have to go someplace else and bring their same, environmentally hazardous farming practices with them.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 07:22 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 

Crisis in the farmlands, but not mentioned, the decades of nitrates flowing downstream, through ecosystems and eventually to the ocean (which cannot be used as a dumping ground forever!). These chemicals not only affect the people drinking the water around the farms but all the animals that drink it and all the creatures that actually live in nitrate poisoned waters, from the farmland to the ocean. And now we also eat GMO foods that are created to have insecticide built in to make them more resistant to insects.... but we eat it? Just how stupid are we, or how driven by profit, that we poison the food and water we use and must share with other animals as well? Frack this!



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by FissionSurplus
 


Thanks for the clarification, that is a big problem, I live in GA everything I buy is locally grown because GA is big in organic farming, so I see how the problem in California can affect so many, when it comes to con Agra as we have them here in my neck of the woods with peanuts) avoid their brand as much as I can, even when my neighbor is an engineer for con Agra here and is always giving us big jars of peanut butter, but my daughter and husband loves it.




posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 09:11 PM
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I am a hugely lucky person. I live in Ireland, we have a well. PURE water.. my health has improved 50fold since I moved here 8 years ago.

However...
...The Germen-Franco Alliance, aka the EU, have begun fracking in Ireland. It is only a small limestone based glazier-carved island and the underground water is pretty much connected. I'm guessing there'll be no clean Irish water left soon, bottled or otherwise...

A protest was begun but was strangled at birth...



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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Another major issue with artificial fertilisers is the gradual reduction of the natural fertility of the earth. Land that has become dependent on artificial fertilisers produces next to nothing when no fertiliser is added. Inorganically farmed soil is just a growing medium for the roots to take hold in. The fertiliser feeds the plants.

Regular applications of compost or manure keep the soil in good condition. When organically farmed land is used without a regular addition of compost or manure it still provides a crop, just not as big a crop as with an application of compost or manure.

Organically farmed land is full of a wide range of elements. Land farmed with artificial fertilisers is deficient in a wide range of trace elements. Food grown on this land is also deficient and therefore less nutritious.

Compaction of the soil by repeated use of heavy machinery also causes major problems.

Contamination of the groundwater is more long term than the other problems. The question is it suicide or something else is a difficult one. I think in this case the business leaders lack of imagination and short sighted tunnel vision is the biggest cause of this disaster. A restructuring of the financial system seems to be the way forward.



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by Kester
 



...I think in this case the business leaders lack of imagination and short sighted tunnel vision is the biggest cause of this disaster. A restructuring of the financial system seems to be the way forward.


Nice segue, nicely phrased.

S&



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